In our previous post What exactly is SEO? we discussed how SEO is classified as organic traffic and is the practice of improving your website content with keyword terms and phrases relevant to your industry. Today we delve deeper into the SEO waters by discussing the differences between on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
Google has made several changes to their search engine algorithms over the years, but the focus has been on changing the way we do marketing to please the user. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and black hat link building, enter the world of on-page and off-page optimization for SEO.
What is on-page optimization?
On-Page SEO refers to changes and improvements that you can do directly on your website to improve your rankings. Keyword bolding, meta descriptions, alt text, length and quality of your content, page speed and content structure are good places to start. We discuss a few essential points to on-page optimization.
Short and Long tail keywords
Keyword stuffing was huge when Google was in its infancy, these days that type of behaviour can see you being flagged by Google as spam or black hat. Clever placement of keywords is key. Include your desired keyword in your content, meta description and to the alt text of your images to see positive results.
Meta Title and Description
Meta titles and descriptions don’t directly improve your rankings, but they do please the user and that is your ultimate marketing goal. Giving a clear description of your page content encourages click-through rate which sends Google good vibes about your website. Be sure to stay within your character limit for this one so that your entire description is visible in the search results.
Image Alt Text
A keyword or keyword phase is added as a label to a photo to help it be indexed in the search results. If you have an image of a garden and you label is ‘landscaping service’, this image has the potential to rank in the search results for that keyword phrase.
Linking your pages is an important on-page optimization for SEO as it helps search engines crawl your site faster if the pages are ‘talking’ to one another. It also keeps website visitors engaged for a longer period as they click through to read different pieces of content on your website.
What is off-page optimization?
Off-page optimization for SEO refers to external factors that influence the ranking of your website. Backlinks are a great start, together with your marketing efforts which include promoting your company on social media and sharing your content online.
Backlinks remain a crucial off-page optimization technique for SEO. As sites link to your website, Google gives your site more domain authority which increases your ranking. While it may be tempting to use some black hat techniques to obtain backlinks, rather use the Google friendly approach by making use of guest blogging and outreach for the best results. Important to note that quality backlinking strategies take time. This is the most costly part of a top notch SEO strategy.
Social posts that generate a lot of clicks and engagement will certainly drive traffic to your site and get your content indexed faster, leading to improved results for various search phrases. You can boost your websites performance by using a combination of both on-page and off-page optimization.
Adding your business profile to local listings and Google My Business can go a long way to help with off-page SEO. Most directory listing sites provide follow links which you can use to your discretion. Ensure that your information is accurate and up to date across all platforms, and regularly log in to reply to any comments or queries.